Putting Education Reform To The Test


Stories about students and the initiatives designed to improve performance. Are the many education reforms Florida has adopted having an impact?

Latest Posts

Ready Or Not, Students, New Florida Exam Is Here

This is a sample math question from the Florida Standards Assessment. The questions asks students to...

At Miami’s iPrep Academy, getting ready for the state’s new standardized test includes rapping. Two students are recording the daily announcements, telling classmates when and where they need to be starting today. “Monday is ninth graders, with last name A to G,” one student raps, in a rhyme that’s no threat to Miami’s Rick Ross. [...]

How A Private Middle School Is Preparing Students For High School Success

A private St. Petersburg middle school is finding success helping its students graduate.

It’s 7:30 a.m. and the fifth through eight graders at Academy Prep in midtown St. Petersburg are lined up outside to recite the school pledge. It’s a cool February morning and they’re a little fidgety until Head of School Gina Burkett raises two fingers above her head and all goes quiet. The pledge starts with [...]

Why Do-It-Yourself Charts Help Students Remember Math Lessons

An example of an anchor chart. This one show how many students ate which portion of a brownie.

The 5th grade math lesson at Frances S. Tucker Elementary School asked students to do a lot of things. They were learning how to use a line plot to organize and visualize data. They had to add fractions to find a total for the amount of cake or glasses of apple juice students consumed. Then, [...]

Miami-Dade Classrooms Using Computerized Math Lessons

On one side of Yaliesperanza Salazar’s math class at Miami’s Frances S. Tucker Elementary School, students were learning to group data and draw conclusions using a line plot. But another lesson was happening on the other side of the class, one tailored for each student using i-Ready computerized instruction. i-Ready tests each student, identifies the [...]

Why Elementary Math Lessons Are Changing In Florida Schools

Frances S. Tucker Elementary Schoo fifth grade math teacher Yaliesperanza Salazar leads her class through an exercise to group data on a line graph.

At dinner tables across Florida, parents and their elementary school children are trying to solve a math problem: What’s going on with my kid’s homework? Florida is one of dozens of states that has switched to new math standards based on Common Core. The standards outline what students should know in every grade. Experts say [...]

Proposed Limit Might Not Reduce Testing Time

Florida lawmakers want to limit the amount of time students spend testing.

A proposal to limit students to 45 hours of testing a year is unlikely to reduce the amount of time spent on exams, according to a survey of Florida’s largest school districts. Districts say they don’t currently track the time individual students spend on testing. Calculating the number is complicated. The amount of testing varies [...]

Everybody Loves STEM

Retired Cuban leader Fidel Castro broke a long silence yesterday, and we couldn’t resist pointing out this education-related gem. He mostly touched on the push to open U.S.-Cuba relations. But in a statement to the University Students Federation, Castro put in a plug for STEM education — science, technology, engineering and math. From the Miami [...]

Study: Florida Schools Should End Corporal Punishment

Two University of Florida researchers say Florida should join other states which have outlawed corporal punishment to discipline students. Florida is one of 20 states which allows schools to spank or paddle misbehaving students. Twenty-six of the state’s 67 districts allow corporal punishment. Some districts require a parent’s approval, others do not. UF education professors [...]

New Book Looks At The History And Future Of Testing In U.S. Schools

Anya Kamenetz is an education reporter for NPR and author of a new book on testing in U.S. schools.

Lots of people think there’s too much testing going on in schools right now. It’s one of the most contentious issues in education. Lawmakers want to scale back the amount of time Florida students spend taking tests. But at the same time, Florida is rolling out a new test tied to new math and language [...]

Amateur Radio Club Connects Miami Students With Space Station

A student asks a question of European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoferretti while Dade Radio Club of Miami president Miguel Garate looks on.

At first, the kids in the auditorium at Richmond Heights Middle School weren’t sure they’d hear a voice above the ear-burning static. Dade Radio Club of Miami president Miguel Garate kept signaling the space station. “NA1SS, NA1SS, this is Richmond Heights. Over,” Garate said repeatedly, trying to hail the space station. They had just minutes [...]

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